Hearing Dogs for Deaf People have launched a new campaign, ‘My Best Friend’, which aims to provide deaf children with a highly trained dog that will help them in their everyday life.
The campaign highlights the life changing impact on the lives of the children involved. 11-year-old James Cheung was given a dog, Kurt, a Labrador, and it has transformed his life. His mother, Louise, told the BBC:
“I’m amazed what an animal can do for a human being. James has problems with his speech – he’s become more confident as a person. Those feelings of isolation, I’m sure, are getting less and less. It’s wonderful to have the dog in the house, in fact it’s hard to think back to how life was without Kurt.”
You can see a video of Kurt and James here.
Following this and other successes, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are looking for support from the public to help them place dogs with other deaf children. Their statistics show that every year, 60 babies are born with a hearing loss that is either severe or profound.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Ambassador Esther Rantzen is fronting the campaign, and has first hand experience of hearing loss:
“As a campaigner for children and disability, and having suffered deafness myself as a child, I know that deafness can be devastating for both the child and their family. Without the right support it can affect the child’s early development and limit their potential. It’s clear that a hearing dog can really boost a deaf child’s confidence, encouraging them to communicate outside their immediate family and even instigate conversation – often for the first time.”
To find out more and make a donation to the appeal, visit the appeal page on the website.